United States Aeronautical Reserve

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United States Aeronautical Reserve's General Secretary--Captain Richard R. Sinclair, with leading USA military officials and aviators in Washington, DC's military departments' area, The Air-Scout, November 1910. United States Aeronautical Reserve and USA military officials, group photo, 1910.jpg
United States Aeronautical Reserve's General Secretary—Captain Richard R. Sinclair, with leading USA military officials and aviators in Washington, DC's military departments' area, The Air-Scout, November 1910.

The United States Aeronautical Reserve (U.S.A.R.) [1] was an early aviation organization created by Harvard University’s Aero Club on September 8, 1910. The founder was John H. Ryan, and the General Secretary Richard R. Sinclair. The earliest aviators and others to enroll near the founding date were: “Glen H. Curtiss, Wilbur Wright, Harry S. Harkness, Augustus Post, Clifford B. Harmon, Allan R. Ryan, Herbert L. Saterlee, ex-governor Curtis Guild, Jr.,, Edwin Gould, Charles K. Hamilton, Horace F. Karnay, John G. Stratton, George M. Cox, Gen. Nelson A. Miles, Commodore John H. Hubbard, Charles F. Willard, Charles J. Glidden, Walter Brookins, Ralph J. Stone, William Hilliard, Cromwell Dixon, Samuel F. Perkins, Capt. Thomas F. Baldwin, Greeley S. Curtiss, General W. A. Bancroft, and Adams D. Clafton.”, [2] [3] Recruiting stations were at Harvard University, in Boston, Massachusetts; Mineola, Long Island; and Belmont Park, Long Island (Belmont Park is most known for its racetrack but it also has quite an early aviation history that became U.S.A.R.'s earliest members such as Glenn Curtiss and Wilber Wright of the Wright Bros). [4]

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 13,100 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is cited as the world's top university by many publishers.

Augustus Post American adventurer

Augustus Thomas Post Jr. was an American adventurer who distinguished himself as an automotive pioneer, balloonist, early aviator, writer, actor, musician and lecturer. Post pursued an interest in transportation of every form. In 1898, when Post was 25, following his time at Harvard Law School, he circumnavigated the globe by rail and steamship. He then bought one of the first cars ever made and helped found the Glidden Auto Tours, an automotive distance drive and competition used to promote a national highway system. He was the original founder of what is now the American Automobile Association (AAA), first known as the Auto Club of America. He established the nation's first parking garage and also received the first driving tickets in New York.

Glenn Curtiss American aviator and industrialist

Glenn Hammond Curtiss was an American aviation and motorcycling pioneer, and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle racer and builder before moving on to motorcycles. As early as 1904, he began to manufacture engines for airships. In 1908, Curtiss joined the Aerial Experiment Association, a pioneering research group, founded by Alexander Graham Bell at Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, to build flying machines.

Contents

Some of the United States Aeronautical Reserve's General Board were Clifford Harmon, Chief of Staff; John Barry Ryan, Commodore; Herbert I. Satterlee, NY; John Barry Ryan, NY; Wilbur Wright, Dayton, Ohio; Glenn Curtiss, Hammondsport, NY; Cortland Field Bishop, NY; Hon. John F. Fitzgerald, Boston, MA; Charles H. Allen (Treasurer), NY and Richard R. Sinclair (Assistant Treasurer) NY. The United States Aeronautical Reserve military contacts were the Army’s Brigadier General James Allen, Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps, Chief Signal Officer; and, Captain W. Irving Chambers of the Navy; and Major General Leonard Wood, Chief of Staff and U.S.A.R. member.

Dayton, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Dayton is the sixth-largest city in the state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County. A small part of the city extends into Greene County. The 2018 U.S. census estimate put the city population at 140,640, while Greater Dayton was estimated to be at 803,416 residents. This makes Dayton the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Ohio and 63rd in the United States. Dayton is within Ohio's Miami Valley region, just north of Greater Cincinnati.

John F. Fitzgerald American politician

John Francis "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald was an American politician, father of Rose Kennedy and maternal grandfather of President John F. Kennedy.

Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps

The Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1907–1914) was the first heavier-than-air military aviation organization in history and the progenitor of the United States Air Force. A component of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the Aeronautical Division procured the first powered military aircraft in 1909, created schools to train its aviators, and initiated a rating system for pilot qualifications. It organized and deployed the first permanent American aviation unit, the 1st Aero Squadron, in 1913. The Aeronautical Division trained 51 officers and 2 enlisted men as pilots, and incurred 13 fatalities in air crashes. During this period, the Aeronautical Division had 29 factory-built aircraft in its inventory, built a 30th from spare parts, and leased a civilian airplane for a short period in 1911.

"With offices not far from those of the Aero Club of America in New York City, the U.S.A.R. by November 1910 claimed no less than 3,200 members, including President Taft [U.S. President William Howard Taft]." [5]

William Howard Taft 27th president of the United States

William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death.

U.S.A.R. was officially recognized by the United States Department of War and United States Department of the Navy

The United States Aeronautical Reserve was officially recognized by the “War and Navy Departments,” and was “organized along strictly military lines, with a view of advancing the science as a means of supplementing the national defense . . . And they are anxious that the U.S.A.R. shall not be confused with other aero clubs in New York and other cities, which appear to be striving for existence along lines made famous by certain characteristics peculiar to the female inhabitants of Kilkenny.” [6]

Target practice bombing competition

In 1910, The United States Aeronautical Reserve founder John H. Ryan also started the Commodore John Barry International Target Practice Cup through the Aeronautical Society and offered a $10,000.00 prize for a winning “bomb throwing” contest from an airplane, and the bronze trophy statue was of “Commodore Barry who was the first Commodore in the American Navy.” The Washington Post reported in a social article in October 1910 that Harmon and Grahame-White split the prize., [7] [8] Ryan's plan in 1910 to create an airplane landing strip on the roof of the U.S.A.R.'s main headquarters in Manhattan's 53rd Fifth Avenue address in New York City was covered by the media. Ryan figured that by combining several rooftops, he would create a landing strip of approximately 250 feet long by 17 feet wide. [9]

John Barry (naval officer) United States admiral

John Barry was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He has been credited as "The Father of the American Navy" and was appointed a captain in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775. He was the first captain placed in command of a U.S. warship commissioned for service under the Continental flag.

The Air-Scout, U.S.A.R.'s official publication

In 1910, The United States Aeronautical Reserve’s General Board produced its official monthly publication, The Air-Scout, that later merged into Town & Country magazine. [10] [11]

The Air-Scout was an upscale glossy magazine, approximately 14 inches long and 17 inches wide, filled with U.S. aviation and foreign news. It also contained social pages (such as with socialite aeroplane supporters: Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney, Miss Vivien Gould, Mrs. August Belmont, Mr. Allan A. Ryan, Colonel John Jacob Astor, Mrs. Mortimer Schiff, Mrs. Charles Gibson, Miss Lilla B. Gilbert, Miss Hannah Randolph . . .); a woman's aviator page (Baroness Raymond de La Roche of France was said to be the first woman to obtain a pilot license and operate an airplane) in several issues; wireless technology news; airship news, airplane contests, military aviation news including where the U.S.A.R. may be needed; and more. There were plenty of photos from war correspondents and other professional photographers and agencies. Many of the feature writers were U.S.A.R. members including Harry M. Horton credited with "creating the earliest longest distance wireless apparatus that was first used on an airplane in flight, military aviators and similar." There were many advertisements in the publication. [12]

Participation in industrial airplane shows

In 1911, the First International Industrial Airplane Show was held in conjunction with the 11th U.S. International Auto Show at Manhattan’s Grand Central Palace, in New York City. The aviation show was the invent of the Aero Club of New York, and the event had the largest Palace attendance ever recorded back then., [13] [14] The United States Aeronautical Reserve had an exhibition booth with interesting airplane displays and a demonstration on January 5, 1911 of early wireless communication technology utilizing the "Wilcox aeroplane equipped with Horton [Harry M. Horton] wireless apparatus" used to communicate from the airplane to the land-based news media and to test distance with steamships out at sea., [15] [16] The Aeronautical Society and the United States Aeronautical Reserve had their full-size airplane displays in the second gallery of the Grand Central Palace among other full-size airplanes. [17] Charles W. Chappelle, a member of the United States Aeronautical Reserve, exhibited a full-size airplane which won him a medal for being the only African-American to invent and display an airplane. [18]

Military Airplane display in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.R. requests Grahame-White as pilot

United States Aeronautical Reserve asks Grahame-White to be one of the first pilots to demonstrate the effectiveness of an airplane for military usage. Grahame-White successfully flies airplane down the avenue at the Executive Offices location (considered a difficult maneuver requiring a skilled pilot) in Washington, DC in front of the several military departments with many leading military officers watching, and hundreds of Signal Corps officers timing speed. The Air-Scout, October 1910. United States Aeronautical Reserve, one of first military airplane demonstrations in front of military and signal officers in Washington, DC, October, 1910.jpg
United States Aeronautical Reserve asks Grahame-White to be one of the first pilots to demonstrate the effectiveness of an airplane for military usage. Grahame-White successfully flies airplane down the avenue at the Executive Offices location (considered a difficult maneuver requiring a skilled pilot) in Washington, DC in front of the several military departments with many leading military officers watching, and hundreds of Signal Corps officers timing speed. The Air-Scout, October 1910.

Both the Boston Daily Globe and the United States Aeronautical Reserve's (U.S.A.R.'s) The Air-Scout covered Grahame-White landing an airplane near the War Office in Washington, D.C. in October 1910. It was a distance and speed demonstration display, with the U.S.A.R. requesting Grahame-White to perform the test in front of hundreds of military personnel that stood outside and watched as he successfully landed his airplane in a narrow street within a few minutes from a satisfactory distance.

According to the Boston Daily Globe, ". . . and within 10 minutes, had landed lightly on the narrow roadway between the White House and the war department, at the feet of General Leonard Wood and within a few yards of the window of President Taft's office." The Boston Daily Globe mentioned General Nelson A. Miles stating, "I am convinced that one aeroplane would annihilate an entire fleet by dropping bombs upon the deck, or the more vital spot--their engine rooms by way of the funnels . . .", and Major General Leonard Wood, commander of the army spoke on how the escalation of airplane technology and the wanted airplane capabilities would be "fulfilled" in the future. [19]

First use of airplane by military in war is from the United States Aeronautical Reserve

Although the U.S.A.R. had much bigger plans for many of their airplanes to be used by the U.S. military, the U.S. military did utilize at least one of their airplanes in a peacekeeping effort with two of the U.S.A.R. members, according to The Air-Scout's March 1911 issue: “On February 16 [1911], the General Staff of the United States Army accepted the service of Mr. Collier’s biplane offered by the U.S.A.R. On the same day, Major General Leonard Wood publicly announced that the craft would be ordered to the Mexican frontier. On the next day, for the first time in the history of man, an aeroplane was ordered to the scene of the battle, with instructions to patrol the Mexican border in order to preserve neutrality laws. Lieutenant Foulios, a trained United States Army aviator officer, stationed at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas, was commanded to report for service on board the airplane. Phillip O. Parmalee, one of the Wright aviators, a lieutenant of the U.S.A.R., native of Michigan, volunteered his services to the government through the reserves which were accepted. He was also commanded to proceed to Texas.” Photos of this were published in The Air-Scout. [20]

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References

  1. "An Army of the Air: The Inauguration of the United States Aeronautical Reserve and the Plans that Have Been Made for the Aerial Scouting Force" Harper's Week, pages 10-11. January 14, 1911.
  2. “New Aero Organization: Aviators Form U.S. Aeronautical Reserve—Bomb Throwing Trophy, New York Times, page 3. September 10, 1910.
  3. “Aeronauts Perform National Defense: Serve to Help Uncle Sam in U.S. Aeronautical Re- Time of Need.” New York Times, January 22, 1911."
  4. International aviation tournament at the Belmont Park racetrack, Long Island, New York, October 22–30, 1910: https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005682299/ (Photographs show airplanes in flight; rows of hangars bearing manufacturers' signs (Barrier, Curtiss, DeLesseps, Latham, LeBlanc, Wright Bros., etc.); some close-up views of aircraft. Also, Charles E. Taylor, mechanic for Wright Brothers, looking at engine.) (Accessed May 14, 2014)
  5. Air Force Research Institute, ASPJ The Air and Space Power Journal, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1982/nov-dec/johnson.html (accessed May 14, 2014)
  6. “Aeronauts Perform National Defense: Serve to Help Uncle Sam in U.S. Aeronautical Re-Time of Need.” New York Times, January 22, 1911."
  7. "People met in Hotel Lobbies," The Washington Post, page 6. Oct 13, 1910.
  8. “New Aero Organization: Aviators Form U.S. Aeronautical Reserve—Bomb Throwing Trophy, New York Times, page 3, September 10, 1910.
  9. "Roof Landing for Aeros: Place for Aviators to Alight on Fifth Avenue ..."The Washington Post, page 3. November 18, 1910.
  10. “Aeronauts Perform National Defense: Serve to Help Uncle Sam in U.S. Aeronautical Re- Time of Need.” New York Times, January 22, 1911."
  11. Air Force Research Institute, ASPJ The Air and Space Power Journal, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1982/nov-dec/johnson.html (accessed May 14, 2014)
  12. The Air-Scout, Vol. 1., Issues 1-6, November 1910-April 1911, United States Aeronautical Reserve.)
  13. "Grand Central Palace Automobile Show has Auspicious Opening,” New York Times, page, 34. January 1, 1911.
  14. regarding the First International Airplane Exhibition, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, page 71. December 31, 1910.
  15. The Air-Scout, Vol. 1., Issues 1-6, November 1910-April 1911, United States Aeronautical Reserve.
  16. "Grand Central Palace Automobile Show has Auspicious Opening,” New York Times, page, 34. January 1, 1911.
  17. "The New York Show." AERO, Vol. 1., page 18. January 7, 1911. (1911 Aero Publication Company, St. Louis).
  18. “A Successful Negro Aviator. Charles Ward Chappelle Invents and Aeroplane Which Attacks Attention.” News/Opinion, Savannah Tribune, Page 1, February 11, 1911. Savannah, Georgia.
  19. "Use of Aeroplanes in War: Graham-White Landed in the Street Beside the War Office in Washington Without Trouble--General Leonard Wood and Gen Miles Tell How Aircraft May Affect Future Wars." Boston (Daily) Globe, page 51, October 30, 1910. Boston, MA.
  20. The Air-Scout, Vol. 1., Issues 1-6, November 1910-April 1911, United States Aeronautical Reserve.)